Disclaimer: "If you want to suffer the humiliation of being hauled to the hospital on a flatbed truck, don't expect me to sit upon your great bloated gut like Jiminy Cricket on the brow of the whale, singing 'When You Wish Upon a Star.'"

(An: This was an odd random idea that sprang on me when walking to the library. Odd place, I know, but this is kind of an odd story...)

Love? I'm not in love. I don't know what love is, in fact. I know how to make girls swoon and fawn with what they call love, but if that's all it is, I'm not in love.

Guy love is different, I know that. My friend Piotr has a crush on one of the X-girls. Kitty, I think her name is. What he does is retreat into his room for hours at a time and stare at her picture. Either that or try for just as long to draw her, and then rip up every attempt, saying none do her justice. But once again, if that's love, it's not my problem either.

Another example is John. He's obsessed with the Brotherhood's only girl, Wanda. He has a shrine in his room. It used to be to Zippo lighters. Now it has a picture of her face, surrounded by candles. He also tends to get over excited when he sees her, which usually ends up with us getting kicked out of wherever we are. Still not my problem.

In books, they say boys in love get aroused by the sight of cleavage, or a flash of uncovered leg. Still not right.

But then, the girl in question isn't normal. Not by a long shot. Always, always covered up. What interests me about her is a flash of bare skin, an ungloved hand, a bare arm. Her skin is as pale as moonlight, hypnotizing in its utter beauty.

She hates me, but I'm undaunted by that. The more she does, the more skin she'll bare to make me back off, and the more she'll make me come back, to just glimpse her and fuel an ever-growing... what? Love isn't the word; neither is lust. Obsession I suppose comes close... probably the best I can do.

Whatever it is, it makes her haunt me in the dark, her voice, her eyes, her skin, soft, pale, sweet poison.

Her powers are deadly, but I'd give anything to brush my lips against hers, even if it meant having everything in me sucked through to her.

Love? I'm not in love. I may as well admit it to myself, if no one else: I'm obsessed.

Love? See obsession.


Love? I'm not in love.

I have very little idea of who he is or where he came from. Every other person on my team thinks he's "evil." Me? I don't know.

He stands off at a distance and flirts with me, smirking all the while.

His memories are worse. Floating up, unbidden, whenever I can't sleep. Almost all of them are bad. The worst of it is the memory of that kiss, that damn kiss, follows it. I have it from two points of view. If I wanted, I could call up exactly what he was thinking...

But I don't. I never will.

He scares me. Terrifies me.

But he fascinates me too. He has a softer side, gentle, though he rarely shows it.

Whenever I want to hate him for all he's done, like I can everyone else, I remember that and I can't.

His eyes fascinate me. Black on red on black, glowing, beautiful.

His eyes were brown when I first met him. I found out he wears contacts, but only for important things.

Love? Oh, no, it's definitely not love. But fascination is still enough to keep me awake at night, thinking of him... even though I don't want to.

Love? See fascination.


Love? I'm not in love.

At least... I don't think I am. You want a straight answer, you're going to have to be more specific, mate.

Whatever it is... I don't know.

Something about her makes me keep coming back. I'm not much for relationships. Don't have the attention span. It's hard for me to concentrate on anything but fire for long periods of time... but her...

She's cold. Controlled. She fears her emotions, and she doesn't know why. She can control her powers, but something still bothers her. She doesn't remember meeting me. She doesn't remember anything from the ski resort, or the bridge thing... Dunno if it's a pity or a good thing.

Her eyes are blue. Piotr says they're the color of ice back in Russia. I wouldn't know (not much snow in Aussie land, mate) but it sounds right. She's ice on the inside and out.

Makes me wonder what it'd be like to crack that, see what's underneath that bangin' body and icy stare.

Dunno if she's interested in me. Don't care, really. I'd still continue my interest, just leave her physically out of it.

Remy thinks it's cute. He's older than me, and he finds it amusing that I've got a crush on possibly the deadliest girl in Bayville.

I wouldn't call it a crush... more like an interest...

Love? Nah, I'm not in love. I don't think I have the attention span, but then she's the only thing that's kept my interest longer than fire.

Love? See interest... preferably mutual.


Love? I'm not in love.

I barely know what love is. I barely know the guy in question either.

He seems funny. That's the only thing I know about him. Not enough to base a crush on, far from.

But when you consider the only other guy who's interested in me- TOAD for God's sake- it's easy to see how a girl could get overly interested in a guy that offers to take her away from all that... right?

Whenever he's around I show nothing but contempt. That's my standard way to deal with guys. I have a horrible fear of rejection and betrayal, although for the life of me I couldn't tell you why. The worst part is I wonder- what would happen if I let him in? Let him get close? He's insane, but then, according to the other residents of the boarding house, I'm insane too.

Not much to base a crush on, but still, a crush is defined as an interest in a person, a wish to be with them... and sadly that's what I've got. Even if the interest is mostly curiosity, it's still more than I've ever had in a guy before...

Toad is infallible. No matter how many times I bash him into a wall, he's still there, popping up with another one of his naseuating nicknames or something equally disgusting. I get the feeling that he'd be the same way, but if he did it, it wouldn't be annoying. What really scares me is that if he did it, it might be nice...

Love? I'm not in love. I'm just curious.

Love? See curiosity.


Love? I'm not in love.

She is beautiful in her utter innocence. It pains me in a bittersweet way to see her smile... to know that she'll almost definitely never smile that way at me. She smiles with all her being, and for a moment, I can forget that I'm wrong to the core, that my life and that of my family's is hanging from a string... for a moment all that matters is her smiling. For a moment I can see her soul, bared in her blue eyes. She's going to get hurt, being that way.

Remy is interested in her friend, the Rogue. I'm not, but it entrances me even more to see the way she's managed to befriend the so-named ice queen in a way that no one else seems to manage.

Remy is bold. He walks straight up to his would-be love and flirts ravenously. Me, I stand back and watch, pretending to be amused. I am, but that's not why I smile. I smile because she's almost always there, lighting up the world with her beautifully innocent smile. She often laughs at these "chance" meetings as well, and it... I have no ways to describe how it makes me feel.

I am not bold. No matter how old I get, no matter how many times I am redeemed, I will never be able to tell her how I feel. Maybe one day I'll be bold enough to make her smile myself, but I doubt that day will be soon. But it is not wrong to dream, is it?

I miss my home, but now I feel that I would not be happy, even if I were able to return to it with my family, unscathed. I would have her smile, her laugh, her sweet demeanor haunting me all the way... It is frightening.

John is willing to try. He does not fear rejection. If he is, he will float along like the bubble he is, saddened but not popped. If I were rejected... I do not know... I think I do know, and that is what scares me the most.

She has a boyfriend now, anyway, that boy, Lance. I do not care for Lance, and not just because he has her at his bidding and I do not. I... well it is mainly because of that, but he is uncultured.

I sit in my room for hours and ponder her beauty in a way he never could. I try to draw her, paint her, anything, but I cannot. She is too

beautiful, and I fear I never will be able to. But that is all right, I suppose.

Love? I'm not in love. I'm hypnotized by her beauty and her smile.

Love? See hypnotism.


Love? I'm not in love.

I have a boyfriend... sort of. Lance is nice. He's sweet, and he does care for me... but it feels like we're going nowhere, like we've hit a certain spot, and we can't go any farther.

I can't help but feel that it's my fault, somehow... I feel bad, guilty. And I know exactly why.

I know his name now, but I'm not going to put it here. It's something I want to treasure in private, for some reason too secret and personal for words...

Rogue suspects. I know she does. I see it in the way she smirks when she sees me. She knows I'm not interested in Lance anymore. I don't think she's figured out who's taken his place, but if Remy keeps showing up with him and Pyro... well she's not going to not know for much longer.

He's an artist. Sweet, kind, gentle. Everything Lance can be... but usually isn't. No one understands my feelings for him... not even me, most of the time. But even more so now. I don't know much about him, but I'd like to know so much more... like to restart, with him beside me instead of Lance.

He's shy, too. I'd love to get him to open up, because I'm positive he's worth it.

Breaking up with Lance will be painful, and I feel I can't do it until I'm sure that he feels at least some way the same... I can't hurt Lance without a reason, I just can't.

The problem is, he doesn't talk. He stays back, and smiles, and laughs sometimes too, but he rarely speaks. Remy says it's because he's shy and thinks he'll mess up when he speaks. I guess that's true, but how the hell are you supposed to approach someone when you have no idea what they like? But I suppose that's all a part of starting over...

Love? I'm not in love. I just want to start over and make it last this time.

Love? See regeneration.

(And here I thought I was never capable of writing a fairly angsty romance fic that actually made sense. Go me. Review, I plead.)